You know what goes great with live poker? A heaping side dish of online poker. While most of the poker world had their eyes glued to the live stream of the WSOP Main Event, where newly minted Team PokerStars Pro Pius Heinz was busy amassing the chip lead, thousands of Sunday grinders sat behind their monitors to chase their own dreams. With visions of Benjamins dancing in their heads, 3,664 players entered this week's Sunday Warm-Up, creating a $732,800 prize pool that blew past the half-million guarantee. 540 players earned a slice of that pie with first place set to earn a hefty $115,050.77. It may not be the $8.7 million Heinz is chasing, but we can think of a few things to do if six figures suddenly rained down on us...
Two dozen members of the Red Spade Army were in the fray today including Liv Boeree, Andre Akkari, Sebastian Ruthenberg, both De Muelder twins, Shane "shaniac" Schleger, Ana Marquez, and Johnny Lodden. Four made the money-- Diego "vgreen22" Brunelli (396th), Alex Kravchenko (326th), Bryan Huang (308th), and Toni Judet (214th).
With ten players remaining, khalidmkm was clinging to the shortest of stacks, his 721,951 representing only five and a half big blinds. Nasukk opened for a min-raise to 260,000 from the button, chip leader stevejpa called from the small blind, and khalidmkm put in another 130,000 from the big. The J♦T♣4♣ suited our short stack well enough, and after stevejpa checked over to him, khalidmkm shoved for his remaining 448,951. Nasukk folded and stevejpa called, his K♠J♠ well ahead of khalidmkm's Q♥4♥. Stevejpa caught another jack on the turn leaving khalidmkm drawing dead, his exit setting this week's final table.
Final table chip counts:
Seat 1: ROÇADO (4,520,732 in chips)
Seat 2: Garnerus (3,830,465 in chips)
Seat 3: P0lak (2,279,556 in chips)
Seat 4: Mrsgardener (2,037,582 in chips)
Seat 5: stevejpa (9,458,036 in chips)
Seat 6: nasukk (4,127,402 in chips)
Seat 7: haldi80 (1,961,790 in chips)
Seat 8: flexaccou (7,028,845 in chips)
Seat 9: DanJog (1,395,592 in chips)
If the screen names of the top two in chips sound familiar, you're not alone. Earlier this year, flexaccou chopped the Super Tuesday for more than $77k in one of the most hard-fought final tables that tournament has ever seen. And stevejpa is the online moniker of Steve Paul-Ambrose, winner of the 2006 PCA Main Event and more than $1.9 million in live tournament earnings. Between the two of them, they controlled 45% of the chips in play as the final table action commenced.
P0lak out in ninth, DanJog and Mrsgardener jostle for position on the pay ladder
Only five minutes in, P0lak put his tournament life on the line, four-bet shoving preflop for 1.95 million with A♥K♥. Unfortunately for him, he ran headlong into stevejpa's A♦A♣ and did not improve. Stevejpa widened his chip lead, moving up to 11.4 million while P0lak collected $5,862.40 for ninth place.
Action slowed a bit following P0lak's elimination. Two players appeared to be folding their way up the pay ladder by playing extremely tight-- DanJog and Mrsgardener. The latter blinded all the way down to 326,582, nearly two-thirds of that stack committed in the 200,000 big blind when he called off the remainder of those chips against small blind min-raiser Garnerus. Mrsgardener's J♦5♠ held up against T♣5♣ and earned him a reprieve that did indeed move him up one spot in the payouts.
Before Mrsgardener's chips could go in the middle again, DanJog blinded his way down to only 107,592. He'd won only one hand at the final table so far, back in the first orbit when he shoved for just over 1 million and didn't find a caller. Under-the-gun and facing the big blind on the next hand (not to mention 20,000 committed in the ante), DanJog put in his remaining 87,592, haldi80 completed the small blind, and flexaccou shoved for nearly 8 million from the big. Haldi80 folded and the cards went on their backs, DanJog's T♣8♣ up against Q♠9♣. Flexaccou hit top pair on the Q♦6♥4♣ flop, and although DanJog picked up a flush draw on the turn with the A♣, the 6♠ fell safely on the river, ending DanJog's run in eighth place ($9,160.00).
Whittled down to less than one big blind, the last of Mrsgardener's chips went in with J♥9♥, but he could not improve against haldi80's A♥9♣. Seventh place earned Mrsgardener $16,488.00
Stevejpa takes out nasukk, underpairs hit the flop
With the blinds up to 125,000/250,000, nasukk was down to only 2.2 million and decided to go with his K♦Q♦, four-bet shoving behind Garnerus' opening min-raise and stevejpa's 1,255,000 reraise. Garnerus gave up his hand, but stevejpa quickly called, turning up A♣K♣. The dominating hand held and nasukk bowed out in sixth place, earning $23,816.
Nasukk's elimination left ROCADO as the short stack with 3 million while his five opponents sported stacks over 6 million. Only four hands later, ROCADO pulled the trigger and shoved from the button with pocket sixes, only to have Garnerus re-shove from the small blind with pocket nines. ROCADO hit his gin card, making a set on the K♥7♠6♥ flop, but the 8♥ on the turn gave Garnerus eight more outs with an open-ended straight draw. He filled it on the river with the T♥ and ROCADO was out in fifth, his $31,144 score no doubt easing his runner-runner pain.
Four hands after that, flexaccou opened for 554,565 and Garnerus three-bet to 1.25 million from the small blind. Flexaccou came back over the top, shoving for 7.82 million and Garnerus made the call, his pocket jacks in fantastic shape against pocket fives. However, the underpair flopped good once again, the 8♦6♥5♥ flop making him a set. This time, the set held, the turn and river falling the T♣ and the 2♣ to eliminate Garnerus in fourth place. He earned $42,136 for his finish.
Flexaccou takes the lead
After eliminating Garnerus, flexaccou took the chip lead away from stevejpa, who had held that comfortable spot since there were three tables remaining. Just as the final three started to discuss pausing the action to look at chip count chop numbers, all of haldi80's chips were in the middle, his pocket sevens up against flexaccou's pocket jacks. This time, the underpair couldn't find a set, the board running out A♣Q♣3♥5♠8♦ to end his run in third place for a $60,456 score.
Flexaccou held a 1.75 to 1 chip lead over stevejpa as heads-up play began:
Seat 5: stevejpa (13,396,994 in chips)
Seat 8: flexaccou (23,243,006 in chips)
The two immediately agreed to pause and run the chop numbers. Taking out the $10,000 they were required to play for, the payouts were within $6,000 of each other. Flexaccou quickly agreed to the deal, but stevejpa was ready to gamble.
stevejpa: meh, we're not really chopping that much, think i'd rather play
flexaccou: i garee
flexaccou: i k but w/e
stevejpa: more fun for 30k than 10 :)
Action resumed and the two got involved in a huge pot straight away, flexaccou flopping a set of sevens and getting three streets of value:
Stevejpa lost more than half his stack on that hand, dropping from 12.3 million to 5.15 million, while flexaccou rocketed to 31.5 million. With the blinds up to 150,000/300,000, stevejpa was looking for a good spot to get the rest of his chips in and found it a few minutes later after flexaccou shoved with K♥J♦. Stevejpa called with A♦J♣, his hand holding up to double his stack to 9.8 million. Two hands later, stevejpa doubled again after calling flexaccou's five-bet shove on a J♥6♠2♥ flop. Both players flopped top pair, stevejpa's K♠J♠ winning the kicker war against flexaccou's J♣4♠. Suddenly, stevejpa was back in the chip lead with 20.3m to flexaccou's 16.3 million.
Just when it looked like we might have a long slog ahead of us, both players' stacks nearly even at 18.1m to 18.4 million, it was all over on a cooler of a hand. Flexaccou opened for a standard min-raise to 800,000 with K♠4♠ and stevejpa called with 2♣2♥. Both players hit the T♠7♠2♠ flop hard, stevejpa with a set of deuces and flexaccou making a king-high flush. Stevejpa check-raised flexaccou's 800,000 c-bet to 2.2 million and flexaccou smooth-called. The turn brought the Q♦, no help for stevejpa. Nevertheless, he led out for 3,855,000, flexaccou making the call. The river was the 6♥ and stevejpa shoved for his remaining 11.3 million.
"Nuts" wrote flexaccou in the chat box before pressing the call button and revealing his flush.
Congratulations to flexaccou on his Sunday Warm-Up win! He pocketed $115,050.77 while runner-up stevejpa banked $85,737.60.
Sunday Warm-up Results for 11/6/2011
1. flexaccou (United Kingdom) $115,050.77
2. stevejpa (Canada) $85,737.60
3. haldi80 (Switzerland) $60,456.00
4. Garnerus (Spain) $42,136.00
5. ROCADO (Brazil) $31,144.00
6. nasukk (Romania) $23,816.00
7. Mrsgardener (Denmark) $16,488.00
8. DanJog (Sweden) $9,160.00
9. P0lak (Germany) $5,862.40
Does $115k sound nice to you? Head over to the Sunday Warm-up page and learn how you can satellite in for pennies on the dollar, or just a few FPPs.